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Appealing a FEMA Assistance Denial Decision

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When you are faced with devastating losses we know that asking for assistance is never an easy thing to do, and we try our very best to make the process as easy as possible.  And from time-to-time through this process, we get questions about what your options might be if you receive a letter from FEMA denying your request for disaster assistance. So we want to make sure that you have the best information to help you receive the assistance you need.

If you receive a letter from FEMA stating you are not eligible for assistance, it does not necessarily mean your case is closed. Your letter tells you how to appeal the decision and what additional information you need to provide to FEMA, in order for your case to be reviewed again. It is important to note that survivors must submit an appeal within 60 days of the date on the determination letter they received.

When survivors apply for individual disaster assistance through FEMA, their needs are assessed based on a number of factors, including eligibility requirements laid out under federal law.  Sometimes people do not qualify for financial help right away. Some of the reasons for an initial turn down can be:

  • You might not have gotten your insurance settlement;
  • You may not have given FEMA all the information we need;
  • You haven’t given us proof of ownership or residence;
  • You may not have returned the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application;
  • You may not have provided records that showed the damaged property was the primary residence at the time of the disaster;
  • You may not have signed essential documents.

Bottom line – these letters are the start of a conversation between you and FEMA, not the end.

Read your letter carefully. FEMA may only need you to provide additional information. Your appeal should include new or missing information, documents and damage repair estimates that support the appeal request.

It is important to date the appeal letter and mail it to the following address:

FEMA - Appeals Officer
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

Appeals may also be faxed to: 1-800-827-8112.

You can also call the helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center, where you can talk with someone about your particular situation. Either way, you can get more information about what to do next and give us information that might change our determination about your status.

So again, everyone should read their letters carefully, ask questions, ask for help, and tell us if you think we got it wrong. We are here to serve you – the disaster survivor – and it is your right to ask us to reconsider our decision.

Last Updated: 
06/02/2017 - 09:23

Comments

i would like to know how to appeal an NCOMP. decision. I am not going to get help from build it back because of being on this non compliant list. I was never informed that when receiving a minimal amount of money during hurricane irene that i had to hold flood insurance. Never signed a paper NOTHING!. Now "NYC's Build it Back" is NOT ALLOWED to help me rebuild my home. Someone please please tell me there is an appeal process or a way I can give FEMA back the money I was given during recovery after IRENE. PLEASE!!! I am without my home the only one i have ever known. Soon rental assistance will run out as well and I will be HOMELESS. HELP!

How long does a FEMA appeal take?

Is it ok to upload my FEMA appeal documents to the Disaster Assistance website? I don't have access to a fax machine. Thanks!

I live in one of the disaster areas in Dorchester County, and FEMA came out to inspect my home. I gave them all of the documents that they asked for and he saw that my floors throughout my home were collapsing, the rain coming inside my home from the gutters being destroyed. They also saw that underneath my home was still holding water and it is still causing damage. I was denied and I appealed it and was denied once again. I just don't know what to do now, they said they are here to help but are choosing select people to help

When you state documentation, do you mean pictures of the damages, or should I have included statements from local contractors concerning the devistation that my home sustained?

I started to appeal the decision but i have misplaced to appeal letter some where in my house, or it was lost. When they came down to see my house they only looked at the outside and did not some into the house to see the black mold in my basement and the roof is leaking very bad now after the rain. I have seen alot of houses being renovated and rebuilt. i have lived in my house for almost thirty years and i have grandchildren that live with me and my son and daughter. My floor is creaking so bad am scared that one of us will fall through the floor. Thank you

It's the pepole they send out don't wanna help

Why do they even have an appeals process when you have provided them every document they request and they still deny you because another adjuster falsified your record and paid someone else for your property? What good is FEMA because I don't see them giving anyone anything other than scammers the people that really need help don't even get help. We need to seriously do away with this program. Just saying. They don't do their job. l

Why has my sister and her husband both disabled been told to tell their house down because there was mold coming up they have pictures of everything FEMA refused the pictures and they had every single document they needed and they still refuse them both of them have worked for minimum wage in that state for their whole entire life they have kids and grandkids there this is absolutely ridiculous that live there for 30 years and not a drop of water in that house and now it rains in FEMA wants to say it's not because of the flood what the hell is wrong with you people you're sick you don't take care of nobody or nothing that's all I'm reading now you are useless. ...

I was turned by the last question the representative ask were we going to relocate and we said no we don't have the money he did not say fema would help us relocate while the work was being done. FEMA's determination was (Ineligible No Relocation).

what if I haven't received a denial letter but saw it when I accessed my account online?

Hello I made a appeal on my damages I'm wondering if fema made a decision on my damages I sent in estimate on my vehicle & my lost of bedroom sets I sent in a estimate through a fax can some one please let me know something pertaining to my damages thanks

how can i get a copy of my Fema denial letter

My trail was submerged up to a foot from the roof and I spent 28 hour on the roof waited on help. the FEMA denies assistants stating the trail is still livable no damage when anyone with eyes can see its a loss completely and I'm now living in a camping tent. How fair is that?

How long will I have to wait when faxing over an appeals letter. Fax off on today 11/28/2016

Same here , guess they only choose select people.

I believe you are correct Makes you wonder . Got same problem.

I HAVE LOST MY ONLY CAR. I HAVE SENT EVERYTHING . I ONLY HAD STATE MIN COVERAGE SO I HAVE LOST ALL AND MY INS WONT PAY AND FEMA KEEPS DENYING ME. I FOLD THIS WAS FRAUD AS IT DOESNT HELP ANYONE.

Was in the fires in TN. My home was burned completely but most of the homes around did, the trees did and one of the burnt trees fell through my roof into my home. We were not allowed back in area for five days because of that it rained and destroyed my home there was mold mildew floos rotted out and everything. Inspector comes out looks at me and says they're going to deny your claim I said why he said because the question I have to answer is is the home unliveable due to fire and no its not. I said what do you mean the fire is what caused the damage he said yes but the fire it's self if not what makes the home unlivable he said it is uninhabitable but not due to fire it's self. I was floored we're living in a motel or running out of money because we lost her job because our place of employment burnt as well. Anyway we gave the guys are least just show you love living there for over year gave him some bills to prove it and everything else. Not even two hours later after the inspection on the site it says housing and personal items assistance denied due to medical reason and that the home was not damaged at all. First off who said anything about medical and there was a tree in my living room and two feet of water on the ground that it wasn't damaged so I filed an appeal turned in an appraisal from a Contractor on would it would be to fix the house turned in a letter from an independent inspector saying the house was absolutely inhabitable and it was a rental home and I did this just so they could see that the home was damaged my lease again just in case and a landlord statement that the home was not going to be fixed because she lost her home as well and had no insurance on the home. Got denied again saying home was nothe damaged in the disaster. Really? OK game on FEMA. So I appealed again providing documentation from the city inspectors that did their walk through's stating my home was damaged DUE TO THE WOLD FIRES and completely in hanitibal. Guess what denied again saying I could not prove I lived there during the disaster and at least 6 months OK so the bills I supplied dating 1 year back was not proof, the lease dated 1 year back was not proof, the landlords statement was not proof I mean wtf? So I appealed yet again providing all the documents again. So they sent out a second inspector. He meets me at hotel does not even see the home. He asks me questions about what was damaged. Asks for proof of residence everythj be I show him he says won't work so he says give me the land lords phone number and I can call her and get verification from her. I'm like so the lease I gave the first inspector and lease i faxed it is not enough the landlord statement and the bills are not enough ok. 2 days later denied again stating that the inspector said the damage to the home was not caused by the disaster. He did not even see the home how can he say that so I appealed again. So disaster was 11/29 here it is March 3 still waiting. Now keep in mind when you call Fema you don't talk to anybody that really can do anything for you all of the people answering the phone and telling you what their interpretation of what is going on. So yesterdayget a Cal from FEMA lady says she's a case worker wow finally something. Start asking me questions with their starting with what was lost what was the damage how much things cost so if she says so you're needing help to repair the home I need help finding a new home because the home that l lived is not being repaired because the landlord cannot repair it. So then she says you did not own the home well no I rented per the rental agreement and landlord statement and everything else I sent in. She says I'm sorry I'm going to have to deny your housing because you provided a Contractor estimate you can't get paid for that . I said ma am I provided that to prove the damage she said well the landlord is responsible for the damages I said well she's not fixing it. She asks so if you rented and the landlord is not going to fix it then why do you need rental assistance? Really why did all the other fire victims need rental assistance because of the fire. I mean really well she denied it stating I was not allowed to ask for repairs on a home I did not own. Ok Appeal number 9. Did not ask for repairs damn it ask for RENTAL assistance. So FINALLY today a supervisor calls and says that they have my case in front of a case worker, he said I know you have provided a bunch of stuff before but do an appeal letter provide these certain documents and I am personally going to see your through to see if I can help. Thanks..not sure if it's gonna help but we shall see.